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1MDB land sold to pay for loan interest?
Published:  May 8, 2015 2:37 PM
Updated: 8:32 AM

The timing Tabung Haji acquisition of land from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) gives rise to the suspicion that money was used to fund the latter's interest on its loans.

In a press release today, PKR vice-president and secretary general Rafizi Ramli ( photo ) said the sum of RM188.5 million paid by Tabung Haji appear to be similar to The Edge's report on 1MDB's interest payment of USD52.5 million due next week.

"Was funds from Tabung Haji depositors used to help 1MDB pay for its borrowings?

"The situation is similar to Putrajaya injecting RM950 million to 1MDB in mid-March, when 1MDB was supposed to make interest payments," said Rafizi.

Yesterday, Tabung Haji's group deputy managing director and CEO Johan Abdullah said the acquisition of land at the 1MDB-owned Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) was at a " discount ".

He added that the market value of the land was assessed by an independent professional valuer and that the acquisition was in accordance to Tabung Haji's property investment strategy.

Johan was responding to the leaking of documents online, which purportedly outlined a plan for Tabung Haji to purchase two plots of land from debt-ridden 1MDB.

Putrajaya can still stop sale

The land - located in a super prime location in Kuala Lumpur - was originally sold by Putrajaya to 1MDB way below market value. Reports on the figure varies from RM74.20 per square feet to RM90 per square feet.

Based on the leaked documents, it is possible that 1MDB sold the land at RM2,779 to Tabung Haji, thereby making killing.

Rafizi said that he understood that the deal has not been finalised between Tabung Haji and 1MDB and thus there is still a chance for the authorities to prevent the transaction from happening.

He said that the land office and Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor can still stop the land transfer process.

"This can be done without violating any laws and it is within the purview of Tengku Adnan and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, as 1MDB's advisor," he added.

Rafizi added that he would be organising a meeting for Tabung Haji contributors next Wednesday to design a campaign Putrajaya to cancel the deal.

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